Antarctic prehistoric bird tracks discovered


This video is called Antarctic Fossils Paint a Picture of a Much Warmer Continent.

From Antarctic Science:

New Avian tracks from the lower to middle Eocene at Fossil Hill, King George Island, Antarctica

Abstract

Trace fossils are long known to exist in the Fossil Hill Formation (lower to middle Eocene) at Fildes Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica. During fieldwork in 2009, abundant new avian tracks were recovered, which are analysed here. Three avian ichnotaxa are distinguished. The most common impressions are tridactyls and tetradactyls with slender digit imprints II–IV and a posterior hallux. They are included in the ichnogenus Gruipeda.

In addition tridactyl and tetradactyl footprints with short and thick digit impressions are conferred to Uhangrichnus. The third ichnotaxon is a tridactyl impression with broad and short digits assigned to Avipeda. The latter taxon is here documented for the first time from Antarctica. These avian tracks are preserved in volcaniclastic sediments consisting in reddish-brown layers of mudstone intercalated with coarse sandstone. The sequence represents lacustrine environments which seasonally dried and were episodically refilled.

In early 1995, I led a Greenpeace expedition to Antarctica during which, among other things, we stopped off at King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands just off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, to pay an official but cordial visit to some of the bases there: here.

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One thought on “Antarctic prehistoric bird tracks discovered

  1. Pingback: Antarctic fossil fish discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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